Writer Development Program

If you love to write and want to work hard to hone your craft in a collaborative and supportive community, we invite you to apply for The Austin Stone Institute's Writer Development Program.

Due to the requirements and expectations of ASI development programs, we recommend that participants go through one program (ASDP, WriterDev, or TeacherDev) at a time.

Application Now Open

The Vision

The Austin Stone Institute’s Writer Development Program exists to train writers to produce compelling work for the glory of God and the flourishing of people.

Built by writers for writers, WriterDev offers training in a variety of genres. This approach essentially condenses a multi-year typical writing program into eight months.



Writing Matters

Writers influence culture and effect change through thoughtfully-crafted and compelling work.

As writers who believe in Jesus, we have been given a calling through Christ: we can use our words to comfort the hurting, set free the captive, give sight to the blind, and proclaim the good news of our great God.

If that vision gets your heart beating a little faster or stirs up a story in your head, we invite you to apply to join our thriving writer community!

Application Now Open

We’re not looking for expert writers

We’re looking for people who:

  • Exhibit humility. WriterDev believes regular feedback is crucial for creating excellent work.
  • Pursue excellence. We are dedicated to growing, and strive for excellence, not perfection.
  • Desire collaborative experiences. You will work alongside other writers in group trainings and cohorts to grow your craft together.

If any of those ideas resonate, you should apply for The Austin Stone Institute’s Writer Development Program.

Application Now Open

Why should you apply?

We built the Writer Development Program to help writers of any experience and skill level learn to steward their writing gift through creating resonant work. Through engaging in comprehensive training and cohort-based learning, you’ll get equipped to write what is good, beautiful, and true in whatever context you’re called to.

The Writer Development Program will meet most Monday evenings from 6:30-9pm at the For the City Center (St. John Campus), from late September 2021 through April 2022.


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“The teaching, reading, and feedback has been formative as a writer and Christian. Spending time with my WriterDev cohort is the highlight of my week!”

WriterDev has given me a community that cares about what I’m writing, how I’m writing, and to whom I’m writing. Writing can be tedious and isolating, but WriterDev rescues me from both. It has given me a community that pushes me to grow and that cares about me as a person and a writer.

“WriterDev has been an answer to prayer I didn’t know to ask. The books we’re reading, the monthly trainings, and the challenging critiques are improving my craft and clarifying my ideas at a faster rate than I ever could have hoped. WriterDev is teaching the body of Christ to express herself truthfully, beautifully, and effectively.”

“In the midst of a stressful, busy semester, WriterDev has been the highlight of each week. It’s challenged me to deal with my approval and comfort idols. I can already see that however God ultimately uses my writing, I will have grown through participating in this program.”

James Hart

Marlon Bailey

Hannah Lopez

Beth Youngdale


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Writer Development Program?

The Writer Development Program exists to train writers in community to be faithful creators who reflect God as the ultimate Creator. WriterDev focuses on the writer as a whole person, and you’ll regularly learn and practice application in theology, craft, and creativity. Along with “cross-training” in various writing genres, we cover topics related to the writing life, such as what it means to be a Christian who writes, the necessity of regular collaboration and critique, and keys for longevity and stewardship. If you love to write and want to learn to steward that gift well, we encourage you to apply!

Who should apply?

The Writer Development Program is for adults over 18 years of age. We strongly encourage applicants to have completed The Austin Stone Men and Women’s Development Program (ASDP) or a similarly rigorous theological training program before participating in WriterDev, though it’s not required. Participants must commit to actively engaging in class and cohort discussions and to completing all assigned coursework.

What does my program fee cover?

The program fee covers resources and costs associated with the program, such as facility rental, events, and curriculum. However, we don’t want finances to be an inhibitor of participation. Please contact Lindsay Funkhouser to discuss any concerns regarding this fee.

When and where does the program meet?

The Writer Development Program will meet most Monday evenings from 6:30-9pm at the For the City Center (St. John Campus), from late September 2021 through April 2022.

When will I receive a reply regarding acceptance to the program?

You will receive a confirmation email on receipt of your application. All applicants to the program will receive a final response regarding program participation by August 15, 2021.

What is the structure of this program?

The Writer Development Program is holistic in its approach. Monthly rhythms include lecture-style teaching and interactive group sessions, individual assignments, and cohort critique. Be prepared to share your work with others and to receive feedback so that you can grow as a writer.

We will also gather as a creative community at various times throughout the year for meetups with other writers and creatives, panels and writing-related discussions, meals, and events with the larger Austin creative community.

I have never really written before, but I want to learn to write. Should I still apply?

You can still apply; however, please know that we require a writing sample from all applicants. Some basic knowledge of writing form and function will be helpful but is not required.

When is the application deadline?

Applications are due by midnight, May 31, 2021.

Who do I contact with specific questions?

Please email Lindsay Funkhouser with any specific questions not addressed on this page.

Let’s Write.
Apply Today!


Application Now Open